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Vintage Keyboard Instruments
Hammond B3
Prophet 5
Digital Sampler
Other Classic Synths

Electronic Keyboard Legends


Electronic Music Guide

Synthesizer Resources

Other Classic Synthesizers

Weapon of Choice: Other Classic Synthesizers

In this keyboard hall of fame series I have tried to cover those instruments that I thought had a profound impact on music over the past 40 years. Naturally, there are going to be keyboards that some of you might feel should be on that list. So on this page I am giving honorable mention to a few other keyboards and manufacturers that have made a difference. This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

Other Classic Synthesizers in Action

Other Classic Synthesizers

More info for all of these synths can be found at I suggest opening the link in another browser window and referring to it as you look through this list.
Company Keyboard Comments
Roland Alpha Juno 1
Alpha Juno 2
Jupiter 8
The D-50 is probably the standout synth in this bunch, although Roland is to be commended for continually producing quality keyboard instruments with sonic character.
Ensoniq Mirage
The Mirage was the first keyboard to put sampling technology in the hands of the common man. I bought one when they first came out and sold it about a year later because it really sounded like shit!( 8-bits) However, if you could let go of what it was trying to sound like it was still pretty cool.
The ESQ-1 was on of the first keyboards to offer an all in one synth/sampler and sequencing workstation. Extremely cool at the time.
Kurzweil K150
I have not had much experience with Kurzweil instruments, but I did use a K2500 for a brief tour and thought it was great. I also almost purchased a rack mount K2000 in the mid-90's, but the tour got cancelled so I didn't need it. The K2000 was really cool because it uses V.A.S.T. ( Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology ) which allows you to take any multi-sample, noise or waveform and process it using just about any synthesis technique! In addition, Ray Kurzweil is a pretty heavy dude. He is s a pioneer in the fields of optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. Read more about him here.
Yamaha GX-1
CS-80V ( plug-in made by Arturia )
The GX-1 was a real beasts from the 70's. It cost $50,000 and less than 10 were ever made. It was used by a very short list of keyboard legends like Keith Emerson, Stevie Wonder, Rick Wright, and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin.
The CS-80 was somewhat smaller but still weighed over 200 lbs. The good news is that there is a great software plug-in version made by Arturia called the CS-80V.
PPG Wave 2
PPG Wave 2.V ( plug-in made by Waldorf )
The Wave series synthesizers were among the first to employ oscillators to generate over 2,000 different single-cycle 8-bit digital waveforms ( Wavetable Synthesis ). They were always a bit pricey, but found a home in many recordings in the 80's by artists such as David Bowie, The Fixx, Trevor Horn, and Thomas Dolby.
Waldorf MicrowaveXT
PPG founder Wolfgang Palm began to work for Waldorf when his company went belly-up. He brought with him his "wavetable synthesis" technology. Today, nearly every digital synthesizer implements wavetable synthesis in some form .

I actually would not really consider any of these to be "classic" synths, but Korg deserves mention here for making the latest technologies affordable and road worthy. To this day, Korg continues to make some of the best full-featured synths on the market. I love my Triton and MicroKorg!


Links to Other Classic Synthesizer Parts, Maintenance and more

Here are a few links to some great Classic Synth Sites exhaustive resource of just about every synth made. brief descriptions and specs. same as above
bluesynths great over all synth site provides lots of links to classic synthesizer resources ( manuals and repair ) analog synth repair guy in arizona
PPG History PPG fan site provides history and tech specs.
PPG Fan Site another PPG fan site The CS-80 site with maintenance tips and links

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